How can I transfer my pension?

  •  By
  •  Murray Humphrey

Have you got old pension pots scattered around from old jobs? It may seem like a pain to dig out the paperwork for these old pension pots, but it doesn't have to be that complicated. Tracking down and combining your pensions together can actually be really simple.

Here's how to track down the information on your old pensions, and transfer them together.

Penfold offers a completely free and fast pension transfer service, which we'll manage on your behalf! All you need to do is submit your transfer request by logging in to your Penfold account and clicking the pension transfer button on your dashboard. All you need is your provider name, policy reference and an estimated pot amount. If you don't know these details, please read ahead!

How can I start my pension transfer?

To transfer your pension, you’ll first need to choose a location to move it to. This could be an existing pension, or a new pension with a new provider. If you're transferring over to a new pension provider, then you’ll need to make sure this is set up first before starting the transfer. You can ask your provider to start the transfer and provide them with the pension details for the plan you want to move over.

How can I locate my old pension?

Tracking down your old pension pots can be like finding a needle in a haystack: you're not sure where to start and it can be seriously fiddly. You may have little to no information about what pensions you have. Here are some key steps that will help get you on your way.

Finding your pension provider

If you don’t remember the names of the provider who administers your pension, don’t worry. There are a few things you can do to find this out:

  • Check your mail. Pension providers tend to write to you at least once a year with a statement. Or they may have sent you information about any changes to their business or your policy.
  • Search 'pension' in your email inbox and trash, to see if your provider has sent you any emails about your policy. If you find a provider name, head on to the next section
  • Use the governments' free pension tracing service. Type in your old employer name into the search box. If no options appear, then move onto the next step. If potential providers do appear, scroll down to the next section.
  • Call or email your old employer (either your manager or the HR team) and ask who they setup your workplace pension with. You'll only need to know the rough dates you worked there, and your national insurance. They'll be able to confirm the provider name.

Finding your policy number

There's one magic key to locating these old pots, and that's the policy reference number. There are a few options to help you find this out:

  • If you came up trumps when searching for paperwork from the provider, you should be able to locate a policy reference number, client reference or member reference number in the paperwork.
  • If you found login information whilst rifling through your emails, then you may be able to log in to their online service and find the information there.
  • Call your pension provider and give them your name, national insurance number and the employer who set this pension up for you. They'll be able to tell you your policy reference number after they've gone through a few security questions

How long does a pension transfer take?

There is no set-in-stone rule regarding how long it takes another provider to transfer over the pension funds to Penfold. Providers who process transfers online are typically much faster than providers that use snail mail.

However, on average it takes around 4-8 weeks for the pension to be transferred, assuming that there are no complications involved (i.e. policy number not matching).

We will provide updates from the pension provider though if there is something that needs your attention, and as always, feel free to get in touch whenever for a frequent update!

It is important to compare providers’ fees & any guaranteed benefits when deciding on whether to transfer, and be sure that the investments available are suitable for you. If you decide to close your Penfold account and the value of your pot has gone down, the amount returned to the provider may be less than what you originally transferred. For more information on the risks see here.

A photo of Murray Humphrey

Murray Humphrey


Get started in 5 minutes

1. Get a Penfold account by registering your details online or with our app.

2. Transfer an existing pension, or make a one-off or recurring payment (pause or adjust any time).

Done! Check savings progress, change investment plan and more with our app or online dashboard.

Get started now